Neighbors question Hilltop area subdivision | SierraSun.com

Neighbors question Hilltop area subdivision

David Bunker

Sierra Meadows and Ponderosa Palisades residents may soon have new neighbors. But just how many new residents move in north of the established subdivisions is still unclear.On Wednesday, the Truckee Planning Commission approved a small subdivision off of Aspenwood Drive that would allow eight houses on the 50-acre parcel. However, the eighth lot, at 24 acres, has no designated building envelope. The parcel surfaced a couple of months ago in a Hilltop Master Plan proposal with plans for 24 residential units on it.Nearby residents expressed concern that while the proposal meets zoning and open space requirement now, if lot eight is later subdivided, the developer will violate the zoning that all 50 acres falls under.”In regard to the density this is a bait-and-switch,” said Don Davis, a neighbor of the proposed subdivsion.Others asked the council to only consider the project after the Hilltop Master Plan – a comprehensive plan for the development of the area around the Cottonwood Restaurant – was completed.”The piecemeal planning is going to cut a lot of options,” said John Eaton, representing Mountain Area Preservation Foundation. “Plan comprehensively; don’t plan piecemeal.”The owner’s representative, Dale Creighton, defended the plan by noting that the topography, as well as town requirements for the components of Hilltop Master Plan, create a natural division of lot eight in the 50-acre site.The commission noted that the majority of the 50 acres will be under a conservation and recreation easement to allow the trails on the property to remain open to the public. The developer will also build some trails and a bike path on the site.One condition of approval for the project will assure that large trees are not removed from the site during utility placement. Another was added to create a fire protection plan that will remove deadfall and other potential fire hazards from the site.A town hall meeting on Aug. 26 will likely give a glimpse into plans for lot eight. At 4 p.m. that Thursday, individuals interested in the Hilltop Master Plan are invited to see the latest revisions of the proposed development and provide comments to town staff and the developers. Hilltop owners have submitted plans that indicate they will attempt to add lot eight in the plan submitted Wednesday, to the master plan area.The planning commission continued several items to future meetings. An application for a Taco Bell on Deerfield Drive near Donner Memorial State Park, an amendment to the development agreement for Old Greenwood and a commercial and office building next to Truckee Town Hall will all be heard at a future meeting.